Friday, 29 July 2011

KEEPING IT SIMPLE - Scarves and Mittens

crochet patterns, how to crochet, keyhole scarf, mittens, fingerless,

WHAT SUMMER?

You may ask where is it? It is coming to the end of  July and supposedly it is summer here in the UK.  However, lately the temperatures have not risen high enough for me to get out of wearing two and sometimes even three layers.  Which is why it is so easy to be crocheting scarves, be they mobius, cowls, or keyhole and mittens, fingerless of course my favourite.  I don't need full gloves in winter unless it is absolutely freezing.



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I am keeping myself busy in the warmth of indoors, I have just finished another "simply beautiful" scarf and mittens ensemble. This time it's a keyhole scarf with "mix and match" mittens and my favourite "perfect heart" motif pattern.
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Easy Honeycomb Stitch

Again, I have used my simplified version of the "honeycomb stitch" to make this colourful set.

You may say this is not the honeycombe stitch you know. I too have crocheted the honeycomb stitch and enjoyed the complexity, but here for this exercise I have used a simpler version of the stitch. 
A simple row of FPdc and dc, and then a row of BPdc and dc, a simple combination of stitches producing a very tactile textured fabric.
The texture of the fabric traps air and keeps you warm and it also creates a fabric with stretch and elasticity, therefore it stretches and springs back into shape.


crochet patterns, how to crochet, keyhole scarf, mittens, fingerless,

Sweetheart Ensemble

I am naming this ensemble "sweetheart" obviously for the little heart motif, what else could I call it?  and I just love these colours, I am using Rowan Yarn Wool Cotton DK (50% Merino Wool 50% Cotton). Colours are Rich 911 and Bilberry 969.  I just love this yarn, soft and warm and easy to work with.


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PATTERN DETAILS:

DIFFICULTY:  Easy Intermediate
YARN: Rowan Wool Cotton or Rowan Belle Organic DK
NOTIONS: 4mm Hook, Yarn needle
SIZES:  One size - Ladies Medium/Large
This pattern is written in USA AMERICAN crochet terms.

TWO PATTERNS - Keyhole Scarf and Fingerless Mittens - ladies scarf and gloves - beautiful textured stitch, complimented with the "perfect sweetheart" motif. PERFECT GIFT. 


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SWEETHEART Keyhole Scarf and Mittens Crochet Pattern
is available from my online stores:

CRAFTSY      ETSY      RAVELRY

Enjoy!
Ciao, ciao!


Copyright © 2008
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.
All rights reserved.


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Monday, 25 July 2011

Simply Creative Crochet

crochet patterns, how to crochet, mobius, scarf, cowl, infinity scarf, neckwarmer,



Ho Hum Week


I've been "under the weather" lately and my only saviour has been my ability to crochet through the thick and thin of it. So, please don't ask, I prefer not to talk about it, I'd rather focus on a healthy body and everything working 100%.

Basically, I concentrate totally on my crochet to avoid feeling the pain, and thank God for small wonders. How amazing is the brain/body relationship? take your mind off it and it doesn't exist! Well, at least for moments in infinity.

Crochet Showtime

Now to present my new creation... drum roll please... I am very pleased with myself and my new design...  "simply perfect" and "simply beautiful"

Mobius Neckwarmer "HONEYCOMBE"

crochet patterns, how to crochet, mobius, neckwarmer, cowl, infinity scarf,

Mobius Scarf Technique

This crochet mobius is made using Mirjam Bruck-Cohen's instructions for crocheting a mobius in a continuous circle, starting from the middle.  I love her concept and how easy it is, make one and there is no stopping you from making many more mobius scarfs, shawls, neckwarmers, cowls, headbands. Whatever takes your fancy - long, short, lacy, chunky, etc, etc, you get the picture.

So here is my short version with a "simply beautiful" honeycombe texture, (my own design, of course). I first crocheted the honeycombe texture stitch with a delicious little keyhole scarf I made last winter, it is great for extra warmth, because the honeycombe structure traps air and keeps you warm and it is gives the crocheted fabric extra stretch too, not to mention it is delightfully eye-catching and very tactile.  I love it!

Design Focus

The aim with this crochet mobius scarf was to make it small enough to sit comfortably around the neck, no extra length or bulk, just short and simple.  

I also focused on not too wide so it stands up around the neck of it's own accord and being the right width presents the added bonus, it doubles fantastically as a warm headband. Oh yes, it is very, versatile.

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Little Extra

For a little extra pizzazz, I added a "quinque floris foliumthat's a five petal (leaf) flower. Oh, this too is a new creation, (more about it in a future blog) and yes it has a brooch backing so it can be moved to somewhere else if you prefer, like coat lapel or pinned to a cardigan. OR wherever, whatever you wish to pin it to!

Matching Mittens

Ok, I am so excited with the new look mobius neckwarmer (headband). That I had to create some fingerless mittens to match, so excited, definitely took my mind off my "fraken" sinusitis, OH DARN, wasn't going to mention that.

Now, these matching mittens are also a new design, last winter I made a pair for myself using the "honeycombe lattice" stitch, a slightly more complex pattern.

Anyway, check out these "little beauties"... you like?  

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I've decided on the "simple no-fuss" cuteness for those more inclined (like myself) who prefer the classic look i.e. mittens without the optional extra of attached flower, however if you happen to be a "flower-power" kind of girl then these are "simply perfect" for you.

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Pattern Details

My all time favourite yarn of course Rowan Belle Organic DK 50% Organic Wool and 50% Organic Cotton. The colours are gorgeous and they feel great.  I used Hibiscus 009 and Slate 015 and a 4mm hook.

Both the mobius neckwarmer and the mittens are crochet in the round, and the flower brooch is also crochet not only in the round but in one-piece, using colour change, which results in no sew centre piece (you know how much I hate sewing) so I will do anything to get around it!

Pattern Availability

I am releasing these as "Made to Order" on my website for now.  

PLEASE NOTE:  
NO LONGER AVAILABLE AS "MADE TO ORDER"
crochet patterns, how to crochet, mobius, scarf, mittens, fingerless,

PATTERN IS AVAILABLE from my online shops


ETSY     CRAFTSY     RAVELRY

crochet patterns, how to crochet, mittens, fingerless, MOBIUS, SCARF,



Enjoy!
Ciao, ciao!

Copyright © 2008
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.
All rights reserved.


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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Seaside, Seashells, Starfish and Fish

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Fishy Crochet Obsession

Lately I have been obsessed with this little fish motif.  I first came up with the idea in May 2011, whilst creating a sun hat pattern and wanted to add a motif to the hat.

I already had a STARFISH PATTERN (see photo below) and you can check out the FREE pattern HERE.

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I've been using this starfish crochet pattern for years and thought it would be great to also have a little crochet fish, so this is what I came up with, a quick and easy crochet fish.

Now, the obsession has been with making a few extra fish so I can write down the pattern and then share it with you all.  Just look at my fish tank - cute, huh?


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FREE CROCHET FISH PATTERN

Click HERE to add this pattern to your RAVELRY queue and favourites.


PATTERN DETAILS:

DIFFICULTY:  Easy
SIZE:  One size
MEASUREMENTS:  will vary depending on yarn and hook size
YARN USED:  Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8ply 
YARN SUBSTITUTE:  Any similar DK cotton yarn
NOTIONS:  3.5mm (E-4), Yarn needle
PATTERN NOTES:  Stitches used - single, half double, double and treble crochet. Gauge - not critical but I recommend using a hook half to one size smaller than recommended on yarn label.

This pattern is written in USA American Crochet Terms.


Pattern Starts:

Row 1:  Ch2, in 2nd ch from hook 2sc, turn. 
Increasing rows
Row 2:  Ch1, 2sc in each st, turn. (4sts)
Row 3:  Ch1, 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 2sts, 2sc in last st, turn.  (6sts) 
Row 4-6:  Ch1, sc in each st, turn.
Row 7:  Ch1, 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 4sts, turn.  (8sts)
Row 8-11:  Ch1, sc in each st to end, turn. 

Decreasing rows

Row 12:  Ch1, skip 1st st, sc to end, turn.  (7sts) 
Row 13:  Ch1, skip 1st st, sc to end, turn.  (6sts)
Row 14:  Ch1, skip 1st st, sc to end, turn.  (5sts)
Row 15:  Ch1, skip 1st st, sc in next 2sts, skip next st, sc in end st, turn.  (3sts)
Row 16:  Ch1, sc in each st to end, turn.

Increasing rows

Row 17:  Ch1, 2sc in 1st st, sc in next st 2sc in last st, turn.  (5sts)
Row 18:  Ch1, 2sc in first st, sc in next 3sts, 2sc in last st, turn.  (7sts) 

Fish Tail

Row 19:  Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next st, ch2, sl st in next 3sts, ch2, hdc in next 2sts, ch2, sl st in same st.
Finish with Sc EdgeContinue with same yarn or change to a CC and sc around the fish.
Note: If you are going to join two fish together wait and do the Sc Edge when joining the two fish.

Sc Edge for Fish

Continuing from end of Row 19, now continue along edge of fish.
Ch1, sc in next 8 rows, *Ch4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in next ch, dc in next ch, (1st fin made) skip 2 rows along edge of fish, sc in next row,** sc in next 6 rows to tip of fish nose, 2sc in end (into the 1st ch of beg ch2), sc in next 9 rows, rep from * to ** (2nd fin made), sc in next 7 rows, 3sc in ch2 of tail, sc in next 3sts, sl st in middle of tail, sc in next 3sts, 3sc in ch2 , join with sl st in beg ch1.

Special Note:  This sc edge will only work if you have the same number of rows on your fish – if not you will need to adjust where you position your fins, aim for middle of the fish (not including the tail).

Join two fish:  Place one fish over the other with wrong sides facing in, and with right side facing you follow the Sc Edge instructions and join together.

Applications:  Use your fish in the following ways:
• make it as a motif and stitch onto garment;

• make it into a brooch by joining two fish together and then attach a brooch backing;

• join two fish, make a chain loop and hang off your key ring or bag;

• make loads of fish and join with a chain to make a “fishy” garland.



USA - American Crochet Terms
UK - British Crochet Terms
Ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc =double crochet
hdc = half double crochet
htr = half treble crochet
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet
tr = treble crochet
dtr = double treble crochet
dtr = double treble
ttr = triple treble
sl st = slip stitch
st/sts = stitch/es
cont = continue
rep = repeat
rnd = round
beg = begin/beginning
yo = yarn over
yrh = yarn round hook
FDC = foundationless double crochet
FTR = foundationless treble crochet
Esc = extended single crochet
Edc = extended double crochet
BL = back loop
blo = back loop only
FL = front loop
flo = front loop only
BPdc = back post double crochet
rtrb = raised treble back
FPdc = front post double crochet
rtrf = raised treble front
Abbreviations List ©2015  Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.  All rights reserved.


You can also download the Free CROCHET STARFISH and FISH PDF Pattern from my online stores  RAVELRY and CRAFTSY 


Here is a lovely little song about a little fish, sung by Spencer Tracy in 1937, in the movie Captains Courageous.

"Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry
Once Doc baked some biscuits and throw them away Next day no more fish come around boat to play
Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry
Said Cabbage to fish cake Who lay on one dish I beautiful cabbage You only poor fish
Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry
There's a place in my heart For the one I love best And I still keep her picture tattooed on my chest
Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry"







Enjoy!
ciao, ciao!
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet   www.crocknit.com
2008 (C) Copyright - All rights reserved.

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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Summer Crochet !

crochet patterns, how to crochet, summer, hats, sun hats,

Temperature reliant handcrafts

Here in the UK crocheting during summer is easy, the summer temperatures are variable and this summer, it has been generally dry (OK so today and next few days looking wet) but generally it has been DRY and not very hot or warm for that matter, so sitting back and crocheting is not encumbered with sweaty hands or dripping brow and if it is warm on the odd day then rest assured I am out in the sunshine enjoying it and getting as much Vit D out of the day as I can.

Heaven (and God) only know when the sun is going to come out again and grace us with it's blessings!

Writers Block... and whinge!

Writing about the crochet on the other hand has been (in my case) constipated. Oh the reluctance to write about what I do, I'd rather be doing it. Then there are the photos to sort through and edit, the ho hum drudgery, and then trying to keep you all informed.  Did you know I am a "dot point" type of person?  You know -
  • take yarn and hook
  • make a hat
  • gift to friend
  • start next project
It's so easy, right?  not having to count stitches, explain every step, make sure it's understood, check and re-check, hours at the computer, so I can share with others!  who said this crochet life was easy?

Give me a map, a camera and I am off into the world exploring. And if my crochet hook travels with me, it may not see daylight for weeks.  So basically if I had the means, my first choice would always be "travel" and "adventure" and "the great outdoors".

Everyday Delights and Rewards

On the other hand the delight in receiving compliments and the rewards of sales is all worth it and I do like to share what little crochet knowledge I have with others, especially when people are interested enough to ask me about it, I recoil from forcing it down people's throats. 

Anyway here now I am going to share my latest crochet projects and patterns, so you will know I have not been too idle!  

Distraction project

In the midst of creating more summer hats with brims, like this lovely bucket-style (fisherman-style) hat called ZIGGY and which is available from my online store RAVELRY

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I decided to break away from my mindless hat making and try a bit of "filet" crochet. I had this very old pattern hanging around for a while, so now was the perfect opportunity, having just spent five (5) weeks of whirlwind travelling around the UK with my daughter (from Oz).

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I really felt the need to explore the unknown (for me anyway) world of filet crochet.

Crochet Rose Bag

The pattern is a small crochet bag with a rose design and dates back to the early 1910-1920's, I think.

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Crochet Rose Bag - both sides done - ready to be joined.
So with my white cotton and metallic gold yarn and a 2.5mm hook (not the recommended size for the project) however I wanted my bag to be bigger than the original pattern, the original is made with Crochet Cotton No. 10 and crochet hook No. 8 (I think it's old UK steel hook size).

At first it was interesting to read the instructions and to ponder over how simple instructions were back in those days, here is an example:-

Ch105, Work three rows of 33 space each. 
Row 4, 5sp, 4blk, 5sp, 1blk, 3sp, 1blk, 5sp, 4blk, 5sp, 
and so on....  

Obviously every young girl knew how to crochet back then, so there was no need for too much explanation in the pattern, just the basics.  Which I think is simply perfect, basic instructions, a bit like what and how I like to scribble my crochet notes, dot point. LOL

Filet crochet is really quite simple, all about spaces and blocks, just fill in the blocks and you have a design, even simpler follow the few basic instructions and then follow the chart. Quite an enjoyable little project, now all I have to do is line my bag, I must source a nice bit of material for it, still not sure on the colour, do I go dark to show up the pattern?  or go with a gold ? decisions, decisions.

Latest Designs

Feast your eyes on my latest summer designs, actually it's a bit of a revamp of one of my previous patterns.

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The pattern is very close to completion, and will be released next week, do keep an eye open for it!  and yes, it will be available from on my RAVELRY online store.

Never Idle

Oh and just in case you thought I am or have been a bit lazy, check out today's walk, 7.5 miles along the Crab & Winkle Way from Whitstable to Canterbury.  Of course we took the bus back home, we were a bit soggy from the downpour which we walked through half way there.
crochet patterns, how to crochet, hats, summer, sun hats,

Enjoy!
Ciao, ciao!

Copyright © 2008
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.
All rights reserved.


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Monday, 11 July 2011

Midsummer Super Special Offer!

Grab "Any 5 Patterns" for a very low midsummer Super Special Offer of £8



Offer is available from today Monday July 11 until Friday July 15 ....

so hurry along and grab your 5 now....  

this is a once only super summer special! 

available here...



cut off time will be London, UK midday Saturday